Prison inmate pleads not guilty to threatening to kill Obama

Leroy Dunn listens with his attorney Aaron Frey during his initial appearance on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 on a charge of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Leroy Dunn listens with his attorney Aaron Frey during his initial appearance on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 on a charge of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine.
Posted Jan. 30, 2012, at 12:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2012, at 3:39 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A man serving a three-year sentence in state prison for drug trafficking pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to a charge that he threatened to kill President Barack Obama.

Leroy Eugene Dunn, 30, of Hampden was indicted Jan. 12 by a federal grand jury for making threats against the president.

He has agreed to undergo a psychological evaluation, defense attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor told U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk at Monday’s hearing.

In April, Dunn allegedly wrote: “I hate you and will do anything I can to get rid of you. … You will die at my hands. … I will kill you Barack Obama.”

Dunn wrote the letter while being housed at the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft while the drug trafficking case in Penobscot County was pending, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore, who is prosecuting the case.

Last fall, Dunn pleaded guilty in state court to threatening Gov. Paul LePage. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail to be served concurrently with a three-year sentence for drug trafficking.

Dunn’s mother, Philomena Gordon of Bingham, has said that her son is mentally disabled and also suffers from the effects of Marfan syndrome, a disorder of the body’s connective tissues that can result in disproportionately long arms and legs, among other symptoms.

Gordon said her son stands 7 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs more than 300 pounds. She told the Lewiston Sun Journal last week that Dunn should be under supervised medical and psychiatric care, not behind bars.

Dunn isn’t the first inmate to be charged with threatening a president. Charles D. Miles, 32, of Skowhegan was sentenced in January 2007 to eight years in prison for threatening to kill two presidents, a governor, a federal judge and other public officials in threatening letters penned over a four-year period.

Miles, who is due to be released from federal prison in November 2012, was committed to the former Augusta Mental Health Institute in 2000 after he was found not criminally responsible for setting the March 1999 fire that leveled the historic grandstand exhibition hall in Skowhegan. The fire caused $3 million in damage.

He is expected to be returned to Riverview Psychiatric Center, formerly AMHI, when he is released this fall.

If convicted, Dunn face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

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